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Good morning, Portland! The weather is going to reach the high 80s today, so
Here are the headlines.
• After weeks of emphasizing the importance of a slow and steady plan, Multnomah County officials announced yesterday that they were finally ready to set a tentative reopening date: June 12. The county will have to gain approval from Gov. Kate Brown's office—but Multnomah is one of just two Oregon counties yet to reopen.
• Since the pandemic hit, about 440,000 Oregonians have filed for unemployment benefits. As of yesterday, 200,000 have yet to see their first payment, thanks to an outdated and overwhelmed state employment office.
Minneapolis police officer at the center of George Floyd's death had been with the department since 2001. During his career, he was the subject of a dozen police conduct complaints; he was never disciplined, records show. https://t.co/STzk70SJ7n
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 28, 2020
• A SpaceX-NASA rocket launch was delayed yesterday due to poor weather in Florida. They'll try again on Saturday to launch what will be the first piloted space fight from the United States in nine years.
• Could Joe Biden turn out to be the climate champion we desperately need right now? Leftist and environmental groups have finally coalesced around a new environmental platform (which largely mirrors a Green New Deal)—here's some in-depth analysis making the case for Biden to push those goals across the finish line, should he be elected president.
• Hoping that herd immunity to COVID-19 will save us? So far, most major cities in the world lack herd immunity—in New York, for example, less than 20 percent of residents have been exposed to the virus enough to develop antibodies.
• Mike Pence's chief of staff holds at least half a million dollars in stocks that could benefit from the White House's response to the coronavirus—including with Gilead, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson. Marc Short, the chief of staff, declined to divest himself when he took the job because... he wouldn't get a tax break for it.
• Is TriMet still enforcing fares during the COVID-19 pandemic? Yes, they are—unlike many other transit systems in the US—but they're also transitioning to a "fare informing, not fare enforcing" approach in some cases, though they maybe don't want you to know that.
• Negotiations between the City of Portland and the Portland Police Association (the union for most Portland cops) have been delayed because of COVID-19. That means the current PPA contract is set to expire soon—so what happens then? Our Alex Zielinski has the details.
• Oregon counties are desperate for contact tracers, or people who work with COVID-19 patients to trace who else they've been in contact with lately and help limit the spread of the virus. But such a job requires a specific skill set—cultural understanding, phone and interviewing skills, and a knack for dealing with potentially sensitive subjects—that can be hard to find, per OPB. Have they tried seeking out laid-off journalists?
• Wise words from Bryson the Alien: "Just adapting. Flowing with it. Not resisting it or wanting something different. Trying to make the best of it."
Rising Portland rapper @brysonthealien talks creating under quarantine, working with Swedish label @PNKSLM, and what he’s going to do with the saxophone he just bought. https://t.co/lat14CUtqV
— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) May 27, 2020